• The Natural Highways of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers Will Play An Even Bigger Role for Transportation of Goods in the Future

    Dec 08, 2016
    All Things River 130711On Monday, December 5, U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen visited the St. Louis Regional Chamber to announce six Marine Highway Grants. Partners from the Inland River Port & Terminal Association, the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association and the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative were also on hand for the announcement. 

    It is estimated that population increases in the United States over the next 30 years will require nearly doubling of the domestic freight capacity in the United States. This will exceed the capacity of the traditional modes of goods transports such as rail and highway and would require tremendous infrastructure investments to support. One of the potential economic solutions to this dramatic transportation demand increase is utilizing the inland waterway systems already in existence. Utilizing the various waterways but especially the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers that converge in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, provides tremendous potential economic advantages for the region and relief for future further congested infrastructure nationally. Currently the navigation economy on the Mississippi River generates $5 billion in annual revenues and supports approximately 20,000 jobs. 

    In support of the strategic planning required to meet this increased demand by utilizing “container- on- barges” services, a $713,000 grant was awarded to America’s Central Port located in Granite City, Illinois. The Illinois Container on Barge Shuttle is an 18-month demonstration project to provide shuttle service for agricultural customers moving containerized exports between southern and northern Illinois to access the Union Pacific and BNSF rail ramps. The shuttle service will operate on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers between Channahon and Granite City, Ill., with an option to extend container-on-barge service to the Gulf of Mexico ports in concert with related Marine Highway Designation.

    Currently there are over 30 million containers that enter the U.S. every year, but there are very few of them that move on the inland waterway system. An efficient container-on-barge shipping process would certainly help to change that. These initial grants are some of the first steps in the development of that process ultimately leading to as efficient and cost effective process as possible. Increased barge traffic on the natural resources of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers is not only a very good, viable option to additional infrastructure, it’s a great economic growth stimulator for the St. Louis Region. 
    To read more about the grants awarded for Marine Highway projects, visit the Maritime Administration website.

    Joe Reagan U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen
  • St. Louis Green Business Challenge Award Celebration

    Dec 07, 2016
    Fifty-four business, organizations, and governmental entities were honored at the St. Louis Green Business Challenge Award Celebration on December 2nd. The Green Challenge is a joint program of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Participants identify and adopt strategies that improve financial performance and engage employees in voluntary measures to reduce environmental impacts. Since its inception in 2010, 176 companies, representing more than 150,000 employees, have joined the Challenge.

    Green Challenge 2016 Crowd
    The 2016 St. Louis Green Business Challenge was held on Concourse B at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The Airport recently won the Governor's Leader in Energy Award for energy efficiency savings and airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge spoke to Challenge participants on the airport's sustainability initiatives.

    Some highlights from the St. Louis Green Business Challenge Class of 2016
    • 100% participated in workplace recycling
    • 97% established a corporate sustainability policy
    • 90% promoted and support alternative transportation for employee commuting
    • 86% implemented a green purchasing policy
    • 39% benchmarked and tracked energy usage to facilitate increased efficiency
    • 37% use green-certified cleaning products
    • 31% calculated their company's greenhouse gas inventory or carbon footprint
    Congratulations to the St. Louis Green Business Challenge Awards of Merit Winners:
    • City of St. Peters, Missouri
    • Monsanto
    • Saint Louis University
    • Trane - Ingersoll Rand
    • Trivers Associates
    • U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
    • UniGroup, Inc.
    • Webster University
    • World Wide Technology 

    2016 St. Louis Green Business Challenge Awards of Achievement  
    Star Circle of Excellence: Ameren, Bethesda Health Group, Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Global Products, Inc., Missouri Botanical Garden, SCI Engineering

    Circle of Excellence:  AECOM, Clayco, Commerce Bank, Forest Park Forever, Graybar, JLL/Metropolitan Square, Madison County Planning and Development, Maritz, Missouri American Water, Safety National, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Tarlton Corporation

    Champion Innovation Project: Ameren, Burns & McDonnell, Christner, Inc., Express Scripts, Microgrid Energy, Saint Louis Zoo, Sitton Energy Solutions, Southwestern Illinois College

    Awards of Achievement: Jacobs, KJWW Engineering, Mallinckrodt Pharmacueticals, MRC Recycling, Office Essentials, RBO PrintLogistix, St. Louis Cardinals, Thompson Coburn LLP

    Apprentices: AIE Inspection Services, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, DJM Ecological Services, Drury Hotels, Hunter Engineering and Velofix St. Louis

    Green CitiesCity of Alton, City of Chesterfield, City of Creve Couer, City of Granite City, City of Highland, City of University City

    The St. Louis Green Business Challenge thanks it sponsors for their generous support of the program:

    Presenting Sponsor: Graybar

    Sustaining Sponsors: Ameren Missouri, Burns & McDonnell, Citizens for Modern Transit, RideFinders and Stan Gellman Graphic Design

    Award Celebration Sponsor: Spire

    The project was funded in part by the St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources

    If your company is interested in participating in the 2017 St. Louis Green Business Challenge, contact Eric Schneider at eschneider@stlregionalchamber.com. For more information on the program, visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com